In Years Past

In 1914, the first annual ball of the Art Metal Fire Brigade, held in Eagle Temple Auditorium Friday evening, out rivaled in numbers present almost any previous function of the kind held there, about 500 persons being in attendance. The hall was crowded to its utmost capacity and it was only during the latter part of the evening that the vast number of dancers could be nicely accommodated on the floor. The boxes surrounding the hall were filled with spectators. The 13th Separate Company band, stationed on the platform at the east end of the room, furnished a delightful program of popular music. So enthusiastic were those present that the hour was extended from 1 to 2 a.m.

A crowd of approximately 700 people enjoyed the smoker held under the auspices of the Jamestown Athletic Club in its club rooms on East Second Street Friday evening and the affair was a success from beginning to end. Bleachers had been erected to accommodate fully 300 people, with space enough left for 200 chairs and every seat was taken while many were forced to stand during the program. The athletic program provided plenty of sport in spite of the fact that at least two did not go the schedule distance. The main attraction between Clarence Carling and Jim Brown, both Jamestown lads, was slated to go six rounds but had to be stopped in the first round, Brown being in a bad way. There was, however, plenty of action while the bout lasted.

In 1939, the stirring war days of 1898, when the Fenton Guards were at Camp Alger, Va., as Company E, 65th New York Volunteer infantry, were recalled at the state armory Tuesday night when Major Fred W. Hyde informally presented to Captain Fred W. Willis of Company E, a framed photograph of five Jamestown officers in camp. They were Major William M. Bemus, Major Albert Gilbert Jr., Captain Frank A Johnson, Captain Fred H. Wilson and Captain Louis A. Fenton, together with the bulldog mascot of the local company.

As soon as a little more red tape was snipped, scheduled commercial air transportation across the Atlantic would become a fact. Out in the Pacific, Pan-American Airways was putting a spanking new 42-ton Boeing clipper through its paces. Two sister ships were berthed at Seattle, ready to go. Three more would be coming during the spring. All together, the six comprised the fleet from which would be chosen the planes that would span the Atlantic. Before long the first of the new clippers would be brought to the Atlantic coast. The world would get its first heavier-than-air trans-Atlantic commercial service – just 20 years after the navy laboriously got one seaplane over in the first trans-Atlantic flight.

In 1964, a 38-year-old father of five was dead Saturday after he allegedly attempted to hold up a nut shop in the center of Buffalo with a toy pistol. James Luedke was shot to death by a policeman who caught him in the act of holding up the Main Nut Shop, police said. He was carrying a toy gun which shot plastic darts and looked like a .38 caliber revolver. Patrolman Donald J. Sullivan noticed a suspicious looking man inside the shop as he was walking by. When Sullivan walked in the man grabbed a customer and said, “Look out or I’ll let him have it.” Luedke released the man outside and ran down the street. When he did not stop, Sullivan fired a warning shot which ricocheted off a building and struck another patrolman in the foot. Luedke turned and pointed the toy pistol at Sullivan who fired, killing Luedke.

The Beatles, Britain’s rock ‘n rollers with the haystack hairdos, blew up a teenage storm by arriving at New York’s Kennedy Airport. About 3,000 delirious, shrieking, youngsters, strained against police barricades to welcome the guitar-strumming quartet. “I love them, I love them!” cried one girl. “They?re so cute!” said another. The adulation of the Beatles was reminiscent of the grip Frank Sinatra had on teenagers some years ago and, more recently, Elvis Presley. The Beatles would appear Sunday night on national television.

In 1989, careless smoking caused the fire Saturday at The Office Lounge in Warren in which two people died and three others were injured. An investigation had listed the fire as accidental and no charges would likely be filed, according to state Trooper John Herzog. The fire took the lives of Thomas Hartnett, 57, and Suzanne Signor, 35, whose bodies were found in the second-floor apartments where they lived above The Office Lounge, a local bar at 904 Pennsylvania Ave, west. The two-story brick building which housed the first-floor bar and second-floor apartments, was gutted inside, although the exterior walls remained standing.

It had been an unusual winter so far. Snowbelt areas of Western New York had received less than half the snow they normally expected. Lake Erie remained open and might not freeze at all over the remaining winter. Planned construction of the ice castle at Mayville had to be canceled due to the thinness of the ice in northern Chautauqua Lake.